The first person to write a check for Google is still a full-time academic—probably the richest one in the world, notes Forbes: David Cheriton's net worth is $1.3 billion. The computer science professor is an expert investor in tech startups; indeed, the $100,000 check he wrote for Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 is worth a bit more now—some $1 billion in Google shares, writes Ryan Mac. But don't expect to find him on a super yacht.
"I’ve been very fortunate in investing, but I still have the brain of a scrounger in terms of spending money," he notes. He drives a 1986 Volkswagen and cuts his own hair. Even as he continues in the startup world—his latest venture speeds up data transfers between servers—he stays off social networks, which he considers a fad, and even Stanford students aren't sure who he is. His guiding principle: "A belief that if you are providing real value to the world and doing it in a sensible way, then the market rewards you," he says.